Part of the Introductions to Chinese Culture series, this book covers the great variety of unique festivals that have evolved over the course of China's long history, describing a representative selection of 42 traditional and statutory events. Like all the books in the series, it is written by a noted expert in the field, well illustrated with colour photographs and offers an ideal introductory survey for both students and general readers.
The Chinese Art Book
Examining Chinese art over several millennia, this unconventional volume presents reproductions or photographs of a vast range of artefacts and paintings, each one juxtaposed with another work on the facing page, and producing unexpected dialogues across time, culture and genre. Shitao's Riverbank of Peach Blossoms (c.1700), for example, is paired with a 2006 installation, Sketch the Sketch Lesson by Qiu Xiaofei, but the volume includes sculptures, ceramics, calligraphy and photographs ranging in date from prehistory to the 21st century.
On the Trail of Old Traditions
There are more than 50 ethnic minorities in the People's Republic of China, most of them living in remote regions of the country. Photographer Alessandra Meniconzi has journeyed across China following the trail of traditional cultures and lifestyles from Yunnan's endless rice terraces in the deep south to the historic trading hubs in north-western Xinjiang. This magnificent collection of her colour photographs documents many traditional ways of life that could soon cease to exist.
East Asia Before The West
Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute
Challenging Eurocentric theories of international relations, Kang analyses how the East Asian system functioned from the founding of the Ming dynasty in 1368 to the start of the Opium Wars in 1841, a period which saw only two large-scale conflicts between China and its neighbours. After explaining how the 'tribute system' fostered diplomatic and commercial exchange, he ends by considering the contribution of the region's formal hierarchy to the increasing stability and integration of the modern East Asian world.
Imagination, Magic and Myth
The unique art inspired by Tibet's cultural amalgam of Shamanism and Buddhism is meant to be of specific use and spiritual benefit to everyone. Rawson discusses a wealth of photographs which depict not only the artistic productions of the past but also the activities of the present-day monks who continue ancient traditions, with their mandalas, mantras and meditation offering 'powerful, untarnished and coherent alternatives to Western egotistical lifestyles'.
South Asia from Partition to the Present Day
Dispersed across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, midnight's descendants – the generations born since the midnight partition of British India in 1947 – are the world's fastest-growing population. This first comprehensive history of this complex and inter-connected region charts its uneven and often fraught path to modernization; the volatile relationship between India and Pakistan; the rise of religious fundamentalism; the bitter wars in Kashmir and Sri Lanka; and the area's increasing influence on global economics and geopolitics.
The Seventy Wonders of China
China is both the oldest continuous civilization on Earth and an emerging economic superpower. This impressive volume assembles a team of leading scholars from Asia and the West to provide an accessible introduction to the natural, historical and cultural wonders of this vast nation. Illustrated with colour photographs throughout, the book celebrates China's rivers, mountains and deserts; its cities ancient and modern; its monuments such as the Great Wall; and its myriad art forms, from porcelain to jade carving.
Visions of Fuji
Artists from the Floating World
Mount Fuji, with its majestic cone and snow-capped summit, has inspired artists and writers for centuries. This lavish volume, with an embossed foil cover, discusses its continuing influence, and focuses on the series of views of the mountain by the giants of Japanese woodblock art, Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858). Hundreds of reproductions show this emblem of perfection, symmetry, spiritual balance and endurance in all its many guises, while the text follows the evolution of the artists' work.
A Journey Through Indo-China
Indo-China is the vast, varied region that extends between the Chinese landmass and the Malay Peninsula, the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. Connected by rivers and divided by mountains, it is home to a rich diversity of peoples, cultures and languages. This attractive book describes the history, geography and climate of each of its five countries. Colour photographs convey the powerful appeal of its vibrant cities, ancient temples, lush rainforests and idyllic beaches.
The People Who Made a Civilization
Covering three millennia of Chinese history, this book comprises 96 short biographies of people from as wide a range of regions, ethnicities, eras and achievement as possible. Illustrated with portraits and other artworks, the listing begins with a woman - Fu Hao, a royal consort and female warrior of the 13th century BCE - and includes people from every sphere of political, military, cultural, artistic and scientific life, up to the end of the 20th century.
One of the world's foremost historians of China, Jonathan Spence presents a concise biography of Mao Zedong, deflating myths and showing how, through relentless energy and ruthless self-confidence, Mao was able to attain so much power and hold on to it for so long. Spence likens him to a 'Lord of Misrule', turning traditional Chinese society upside down in 'a long drawn-out adventure in upheaval'.
The Art of Princely Courts in Fifteenth-Century China
Beginning with the reign of the Yongle emperor (1403–1424), this richly illustrated catalogue presents over 120 artefacts once owned by princes of the Ming dynasty during the period up to the death of the Jiajing emperor in 1566. Indicative of the fabulous wealth of the Ming rulers, the pieces described and photographed include gold and silver vessels, jewellery and jade, paintings, porcelain and clothing. The volume also contains essays on aspects of Ming art history and recent archaeological finds.
Peake in China
Memoirs of Ernest Cromwell Peake
Dr Ernest Peake (1874-1950), the father of Mervyn Peake, was a newly qualified doctor when he was sent to China by the London Missionary Society in 1899, and he practised medicine in Hunan province and Tientsin until 1923. These memoirs describe his experience of 'the Celestial Empire' during a period that saw the violent end of Manchu rule and the start of the Chinese Republic. The memoirs are published here for the first time, with an introduction by Hilary Spurling.
Culture on the Edge
The Tibetan way of life is changing fast, with new transport links and communications infrastructure bringing ever more tourists and technology. The environment itself is also in jeopardy as the region heats up and glaciers that feed important water sources flowing into China, India and Pakistan recede. This photographic portfolio presents studies of the striking people, landscapes and customs of Tibet with reference to how these modern threats are affecting the country's traditional devotional Buddhist culture.
Malaysia offers a striking variety of attractions for the visitor, from the high-rise skyline of the capital Kuala Lumpur to pristine beaches and rainforest trekking. Illustrated with colour photographs on every page, this attractive book gives an overview of Malaysia's geography, history, people, religion, arts and cuisine, before exploring both parts of the country: Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. Special features cover a wide range of topics, from festivals to street art.
The Art of Japanese Paper Theater
Before giant robots, space ships, and masked super heroes filled the pages of Japanese comic books--known as manga--such characters were regularly seen on the streets of Japan in kamishibai stories. Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater tells the history of this fascinating and nearly vanished Japanese art form that paved the way for modern-day comic books, and is the missing link in the development of modern manga.
An Intimate Look at the Past and Present
Retracing the route of Mao's Long March, an international team of photographers compiled this spectacular volume revealing the monumental changes of the past 75 years, as villages have become cities, dirt tracks superhighways, and everywhere the buzz of industry and commerce fills the air. With a digital app to access additional audio-visual content on an iPad, this is a magnificent survey of China's landscapes and a tribute to the resilience of its peoples.
The Jesuit Century
When the Jesuit missionary Antonio de Andrade set out from Agra in 1624, no European had visited Tibet and almost nothing was known of the country or its inhabitants. This book describes the travels and achievements of Andrade and four other Jesuits who made the long and perilous journey across difficult terrain and without maps. The final missionary is Ippolito Desideri, who stayed in Tibet from 1716 to 1721 and wrote a long and detailed account of the country.
Symbols of China
A colourful and very accessible introduction to Chinese culture, this book comprises concise, well-illustrated and richly informative articles on aspects of the country ranging from natural wonders such as the magical Stone Forest to chop sticks. Beginning with cultural icons, including calligraphy, fengshui and the four auspicious creatures, the book has chapters covering architecture, festivals, daily life, arts and crafts, legends, famous historical figures and the performing arts.
All is Change
The 2000-Year Journey of Buddhism to the West
The West's embrace of Buddhism, seemingly a relatively recent phenomenon, actually came about over the course of two millennia, despite the obstacles of language, cultural difference and colonial and post-colonial politics. From early exchanges between the ancient Greeks and Indian Buddhists to the current fascination with the Dalai Lama, Sutin describes how the West discovered that Buddhism offers teachings and practices which can be used within disciplines such as Western philosophy, psychology and politics.
Cambodia, the Buddha and the Naga
Buddhism is more than a religion in Cambodia; it is a comprehensive system for living. This absorbing study, illustrated with colour photographs throughout, describes the Buddha's path to enlightenment, and the role of the naga, or serpent king, in protecting him. Through individual stories, it traces the cycle of death and rebirth, and shows how spirituality informs every aspect of the life of the nation.
Understand Chinese Mythology
This Teach Yourself guide is the ideal introduction to Chinese myth, covering little-known symbolic stories as well as the familiar dragons and astrology that are well embedded in popular culture. The author begins by explaining the background to Chinese culture and mythology, then goes on to explore the myths, retelling them in modern English and teasing out their meanings and cultural significance.
Part of the Introductions to Chinese Culture series, this book offers a comprehensive introduction to the origins and development of printing and publication in China from ancient to modern times. Like all the books in the series, it is written by noted experts in the field and is well illustrated with colour reproductions and photographs.
Part of the Introductions to Chinese Culture series, this book provides an accessible overview of sculptural art in China, including the Terracotta Army, Buddhist sculpture, tomb carvings, architectural sculpture, exchange with foreign cultures and sculpture in China today. Like all the books in the series, it is written by a noted expert in the field, well illustrated with colour photographs and offers an ideal introductory survey for both students and general readers.
Utamaro and the Spectacle of Beauty
and the Spectacle of Beauty
One of the most influential artists working in the genre of ukiyo-e ('pictures of the floating world') in late 18th century Japan, Kitagawa Utamaro (c1753-1806) was renowned for his prints of beautiful women. In this book, Davis reinterprets Utamaro in the context of his times, reconstructing the place of the ukiyo-e artist within the world of the commercial print market. The study offers a new approach to issues such as the status of the artist and the construction of identity, gender, sexuality and celebrity in the Edo period.
Masterpieces of Art
After an introductory chapter on Japanese woodblock printing in the Edo period, its artists, schools and its influence on western art, this book presents around 90 masterpieces by key artists. The prints are in sections on beautiful women, landscapes, kabuki theatre and flora and fauna, and include such famous works as The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai, Kuniyoshi's powerful portrayals of Kabuki actors and Hiroshige's Carp and River Trout from his 'Collection of Fish'.
The Last Lama Warrior
The Secret Martial Art of Tibet
Originating with Tibetan warrior monks in the 15th century, the secrets of Sengueï Ngaro ('the lion's roar') were traditionally conveyed only in secrecy to a chosen few in the Kham region of Tibet. In this book the current guardian of the teaching explains the martial art, which combines bodily defence with advanced meditation, and describes its series of movements and techniques inspired by animal behaviour.
Chinese Ivory Carvings
The Sir Victor Sassoon Collection
Heir to a banking fortune, Victor Sassoon (1881–1961) assembled one of the world’s most important collections of Chinese ivory carving from his base in Shanghai. This magnificent volume presents 350 artefacts from his collection, now held in trust for the citizens of the UK. Introductory essays explore the acquisition of these exquisite ornaments, figurines, screens and sewing boxes, which range from the 2nd millennium BCE to the 20th century, and place them in their historical and cultural context.
Riddle of the Feathered Dragons
Hidden Birds of China
Recent fossil discoveries in China have been widely hailed as clear evidence that birds had their origins in ‘feathered’ dinosaurs. But Feduccia urges us to be cautious of such hyperbolic claims, which led to ‘the ascendency of a consensus view that has quickly evolved into a dogma’. In this reassessment of the data he critically analyses existing interpretations and methodologies, as well as offering his own theories about the evolution of birds and avian flight.
Banaras, or Varanasi, stands on the banks of the Ganges in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, it is also the holiest in the Hindu religion. In these 249 photographs, the award-winning photographer Christopher Roche has captured the colours and energies of Banaras’ streets and temples, its sadhus or holy men, and the religious rites on the burning ghats of this great spiritual centre.
Holy Places, Sacred Sites
A Journey to the World's Most Spiritual Locations
Eduardo Rubio Méndez spent three years travelling the globe in search of God or the gods, and the places where people commune with them. This book contains more than 300 of his magical photographs of the world’s holiest sites, from Stonehenge to the Australian outback, from Gothic cathedrals to the banks of the Ganges, from Mayan temples to the great mosques of Islam – along with the worshippers who seek meaning, redemption, transcendence and consolation in these sacred spaces.
The Intelligence of Tradition in Rajput Court Painting
Why did Rajastani court artists make the formal choices that characterize their tradition? In this series of in-depth studies, each illustrated with numerous reproductions of rare paintings, Aitken shows how traditional formal devices served as vital components of narrative meaning, expressions of social unity and sources of intellectual play; and she explores the relevance of Rajput court painting to contemporary art.
Essays on Man and Culture
By the time of his death in 1975, the Chinese scholar Cheng Man-ch'ing had done much to formulate and popularize the precepts of T'ai Chi. In this elegant selection, his essays on subjects ranging from sleep, illness and health to our relation with the natural world are juxtaposed with passages from classical writers including Confucius and Mencius.
The Youngman Collection
The Chinese have revered the mystery and magic of jade since antiquity. This authoritative, beautifully illustrated book draws on the author’s unparalleled collection to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date survey of 6000 years of jade carving. Part one features early jades (7000 BCE to 220 CE); Part two features carvings of flora, fauna and the human figure; Part three covers personal adornments, scholars’ objects and vessels.
The Art of the Horse in Chinese History
Published to accompany an exhibition at The Kentucky Horse Park & International Museum of the Horse, this volume explores the impact of the horse on the development of Chinese civilization and art. It comprises a detailed, illustrated text tracing the evolution of horse-drawn vehicles, cavalry horses and topics such as harnessing systems and stirrups; and an illustrated catalogue of over 170 artefacts, including sculptures of horses, a wide range of objects with equine decoration, and items of ancient tack.
Power Places of Kathmandu
Hindu and Buddhist Holy Sites in the Sacred Valley of Nepal
In Hindu mythology, the Himalayas have always been known as ‘the abode of the gods’. Below these mountains, the Kathmandu valley is rich in holy sites, where animism and shamanism have long coexisted with Buddhism and Hinduism. Illustrated with more than 100 colour photographs, this volume explores these ‘power places’ – focal points of divine energy – from simple caves to magnificent temples, in the order followed by pilgrims on the three main routes through the old kingdoms of Nepal.
The World According to Xi
Everything You Need to Know About the New China
China is rapidly becoming the most powerful nation on earth, and its leader, Xi Jingping, is enshrined in its constitution – an honour not seen since Chairman Mao. This succinct, accessible primer charts his rise to power and explains his world-view, his plans to eradicate poverty and extend his country’s global reach, his thoughts on China’s Communist legacy – and how far he is prepared to go to defend it.
History, Mystery and the Latest Discoveries
Discovered by chance by farmers in 1974, the mausoleum of the first emperor of China contained one of the wonders of the world: the Terracotta Army. Based on unique access to leading Chinese archaeologists, this book sets the clay warriors in the context of Chinese society 2,200 years ago, describes the latest discoveries at the vast and only partly excavated site, and hints at what may still be uncovered – including the imperial tomb itself.
The Art of Carving Netsuke
Incorporating a history of Netsuke and a gallery of examples, the skills and tools you’ll need to get started and some basic techniques, Benson details nine projects to tackle, with colour photographs and step-by-step instructions, from the simple dormouse to the more demanding monkey pot.